This guest blog is by ELGL member Nick Kittle. It originally appeared on the Cartegraph blog.
Government Performance & Innovation Coach
High-performance government (HPG) is a concept that has a lot of appeal, but just like so many clever phrases and here-today-gone-tomorrow buzzwords, how do you take it from words to action? You start by getting real.
Are you working for a HPG? If not, we have something to talk about. First, can we please acknowledge that high-performance government is not that common—but should be? We are the creators and connectors of our communities, and their very survival depends on us doing our jobs. Not just doing our jobs well, but doing them exceptionally. But, where do we begin?
“We are the creators and connectors of our communities, and their very survival depends on us doing our jobs.”
High-performance governments build a culture of effective and innovative teams that develop efficient processes, and produce measurable, actionable results. They are clear, accountable, and engaged with their community. They foster a culture of performance, inspiration, and innovation with their peers.
HPG requires self-reflection and a willingness to acknowledge what we’re doing well and what we’re not. We must assess where we are and where we can improve. And, that takes courage. The courage of self-reflection. We must ascertain whether we are building teams that work and where our processes can improve.
We must explore whether what we are measuring actually matters and how we are telling the story of the data. And, we have to reduce the general fear of government in our communities by making ourselves accountable and accessible.
Sounds massive, right? Well, it is. But so is everything worth doing.
And it starts with small steps. Small wins lead to big wins. Momentum matters. As an organization, we can train on how to build strengths-based teams with tools like StrengthsFinder. We can redefine how our meetings work and projects are prioritized to give ourselves time back in the day. We can use that time to measure one, two, or three things really well, and acknowledge the pain and fear of change many of our employees struggle with—encouraging them along the path.
“HPG requires self-reflection and a willingness to acknowledge what we’re doing well and what we’re not.”
We can use that data to create clarity about how we are performing and use SMART or CLEAR goals to demonstrate our success. Then, we can brag about it (we have to) with compelling stories that tell our community: “Yep, we’re doing it right here.” And, we can use those data-driven stories to get the funding we need to do our jobs exceptionally well.
I love working with Cartegraph customers because the goals are wildly different—and so is the path—but the elements of success are the same. Our customers are driven to create HPG and we know that you need support to get there. That’s why our high-performance government training isn’t about our product: it’s about how we can change organizations and communities. It’s about getting the whole organization to speak a language of results and success. It’s not about a vendor trying to sell you more, it’s about a partner helping you on your journey. And, each journey is different.
Remember, journeys take time, but all begin with a single step. And that’s what Cartegraph is about: helping you take your next step. Think of us as the muscly Sherpa on your asset management mountain climbing adventure. We have the gear, we have the map, and we’re there to catch you when you stumble. In the end, we’ll help you get to the top. Then do it all again.